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Polarization Maintaining (PM) fiber

A fiber which holds the polarization orientation of light launched into under the correct conditions. A PM fiber is a highly birefringent fiber, which creates two polarization axes where the coupling of light power between the two axes is very weak. If light is launched down only one axis it will stay here, and the fiber is said to be polarization maintaining. The fiber won’t be polarization maintaining if light is launched down both axes - the different index on each axis will cause the light there to travel at different phase velocities; this is polarization mode dispersion, and makes the output very variable and it will not have a good polarization stable orientation. To make a HiBi fiber operate as a PM fiber, the light must be launched on only one axis.

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